Catholic Health Locations
Catholic Health Home Care
144 Genesee Street
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone & Hours
Mercy Hospital of Buffalo
565 Abbott Road
Buffalo, NY 14220
Phone & Hours
Mount St. Mary's Hospital
5300 Military Road
Lewiston, NY 14092
Phone & Hours
Sisters of Charity Hospital
2157 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14214
Phone & Hours
Breastfeeding is the best thing that you can do for you and your baby. Not only does it create a lifelong bond between mother and child, but it keeps you and your baby healthy.
The nutrients and antibodies in breast milk help to protect your baby and prevent disease. Breast milk is easier for your baby to digest compared to formula, and it changes as your baby grows, giving him or her just the right amount of fat, sugar, water and protein.
Because breast milk protects your baby, he or she is sick less often, resulting in fewer visits to the doctor and fewer missed days from work for mom or dad.
Women who breastfeed are able to return to their pre-pregnancy weight more quickly and have a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression.
For more information about the benefits of breastfeeding, click on your language to download a PDF:
If you have any questions about breastfeeding, contact our lactation consultants:
- Mercy Hospital - Tammy Kowalik, RN, IBCLC, (716) 828-2616
- Mount St. Mary's - Gina Penque, IBCLC, (716) 298-2478
- Sisters Hospital - Tina Harman, RN, IBCLC, (716) 862-1939
It is recommended that moms who are planning to breastfeed learn about the process before they give birth.
Under the guidance of an experienced, internationally board certified lactation consultant, our breastfeeding classes will help answer common questions and concerns that many new families experience during pregnancy. We will prepare the new family for both the initial breastfeeding experience and what to expect during the first few weeks at home.
Upon admission, let your doctor and nurse know that you plan to breastfeed.
The first 1-2 hours of your baby’s life are the most important for breastfeeding, as the sucking instinct is strong during this period. Ask to breastfeed as soon as possible after delivery.
Many times, our labor and delivery nurses assist moms with the first breastfeeding. Every labor and delivery nurse is trained to support breastfeeding moms.
Certified Lactation Consultants Available Daily
To further assist you with breastfeeding, certified lactation consultants are available daily. Our lactation consultants see each patient before discharge.
Breastfeeding Mothers’ Bill of Rights
During your hospital stay, you will be provided with a bill or rights, which outlines your rights as a breastfeeding mom in a New York State hospital.
These rights include the ability to:
- Keep your baby with you at all times
- Breastfeed at any time
- Receive breastfeeding guidance
- Prevent your baby from receiving pacifiers or bottles
Please ask your nurse if you have any questions about these rights.
After returning home from the hospital, moms can sometimes feel overwhelmed, as their babies need more frequent feedings and visitors stop by to welcome the new family member.
Our home care nurses can make the transition from hospital to home easier, and reassure you that you can successfully breastfeed and care for your baby.
Your home care nurse will:
- Monitor your recovery by checking your blood pressure, c-section scar, or episiotomy
- Monitor your baby’s health, by checking his or her weight, skin color, temperature and heart and lungs
- Observe and assist during breastfeeding, making sure that your baby is positioned properly and that you are comfortable
- Weigh your baby after a feeding and develop a feeding plan if more weight gain is needed
- Teach you how to use a breast pump
- Show you how to keep your baby safe while he or she sleeps
- Answer any questions about caring for your baby
We will contact your doctor for approval before a home care visit is scheduled.
Breastfeeding Assistance 24/7
You may contact a home care nurse at any time, day or night. A phone number will be provided to you during your first visit.
Length of a Home Care Visit
Expect your first home care visit to last 1-2 hours. At this time, your nurse will record your medical history, monitor your recovery, examine your baby and observe an entire feeding.
How to Schedule a Home Care Visit
Home Care visits are available to moms living in Erie or Niagara County.
During your stay in the hospital, let your lactation nurse know that you would like a home visit from a nurse.
Within a few days after you return home from the hospital, you will be contacted by one of our staff, who will schedule your appointment. If you feel that you no longer need a home care visit, you are under no obligation to make an appointment.
If you did not request a home care visit during your hospital stay, please ask your baby’s pediatrician for a referral.
Most insurances cover 1-3 visits from a home care nurse. Prior to making an appointment, our staff will verify that our services are covered by your insurance company.
You will be notified in advance if you will be responsible for a co-pay.
Mercy Hospital and Sisters Hospital - Weekly Baby Café
Baby Café is a weekly drop-in center for moms who are breastfeeding and need support and guidance from certified lactation consultant nurses. You can:
- Learn about breastfeeding during your pregnancy
- Meet other moms who are breastfeeding
- Get answers to breastfeeding questions and concerns
Relax and join us for coffee, support and information facilitated by a registered nurse and certified lactation consultant.
No reservations are needed. If you have questions, please call (716) 862-1939.
- 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays
- There will be no Baby Café held on 7/4, 7/11, 7/18, or 7/25 at Sisters Hospital
- M. Steven Piver Center on the campus of Sisters Hospital (2121 Main Street, Buffalo) in the conference room
- 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays
- OB/GYN Associates of WNY, 3050 Orchard Park Rd., West Seneca
Mount St. Mary's Hospital - Monthly Support Group
Mount St. Mary's support group meets on the last Saturday of the month, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room 249.
You'll have an opportunity to share your experiences, struggles and triumphs.
For more inforamtion about the support group, call Gina Penque, IBCLC at (716) 298-2478.
Breastfeeding Assessments: Gina is available for phone consultations or private consultations at the hospital, for children from birth to age 1 year. Mothers can come to room 209 on most Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a breastfeeding assessment. Call (716) 298-2478 for details.
|New York State Department of Health||Education, Breastfeeding Bill of Rights|
|New York State Breastfeeding Coalition||Information about breastfeeding laws|
|It's Only Natural||Planning for breastfeeding, overcoming challenges, finding support|
|Women, Infants and Children (WIC)||Offers nutritious foods, breastfeeding support, and referrals for women with children up to 5 years old. Income limits apply.|
|CareConnection||Breastfeeding pumps, classes, support group|
|Video: "Teach Me How to Breastfeed"||From the Menzies School of Health Research|
|The New York Milk Bank||Provides donor milk to the New York metropolitan area and New York State. Learn more about donating breast milk here.|
In keeping with our mission to serve mothers and babies throughout the region, Catholic Health WomenCare has joined The New York Milk Bank to give area women the opportunity to drop off donated breast milk at its three maternity hospitals. Donations are accepted at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, and Sisters of Charity Hospital.
For more information on donating to the Catholic Health Milk Bank Depots please contact: